5 Businesses Owned by Black Women to Support This Month & Every Month

It’s February, y’all. That means that it’s black history month. While politicians and all the locals from your hometown are posting tributes to well-deserved civil rights activists, I challenge everyone to do something a little different this year: put your money where your mouth is. Support all the well-known, unapologetically black figures that have paved the way for equity – but also support businesses that are owned by black women. We should all try to buy something from a black-owned business this month (and let’s be real, every month after that). Below are 5 black woman-owned businesses that are not only fabulous, but well deserving of more recognition and love.  

1. Green Box Shop

Chill With that Misogyny T-Shirt, $18.99  U.S. Prison System T-Shirt, $18.99     Green Box Shop was founded in 2016 by Kayla Robinson. At the time, Robinson couldn’t find any tee shirts that really spoke to her as a young, brown queer girl, so she decided to make them herself to help fund her yoga instructor certification. But her career fired up after Frank Ocean wore a Green Box tee shirt at one of his concerts, and after that she decided to roll with Green Box Shop and become a full-time entrepreneur to promote and share these relevant and powerful messages of injustice.

 

2. Fenty Beauty

        Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, $34

Fenty Beauty was established by music artist gone make-up warrior queen, Rihanna. Before she was Rihanna, she was just Robyn Rihanna Fenty, born and raised in Barbados, “transfixed by her mother’s lipstick” as she says on her website. Since being at the top of stardom and experimenting with makeup of all kinds, she saw there were lack of shades available for women of color. Persistent in her search for more shades for more women, she established Fenty Beauty and thus 40 shades and counting of foundation, concealer and lipsticks were created.

 

3. The Lip Bar

            Mochajito, $13

The story of how Melissa Butler got her colorful lipsticks from her kitchen to the shelves of a corporate store is one of my favorites. Butler always loved a pop of color even as a makeup minimalist. She believed that you shouldn’t have to compromise your health for a bold statement lip, so she created the Lip Bar, dedicated to selling colorful vegan lipsticks. However, when she went on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” she was practically laughed off the stage. Kevin O’Leary told her, “The chances that this is a business is practically zero. You only have so many minutes on Earth, don’t waste them trying to sell lipstick.” Shark Daymond John said, “You are never going to create anything new in this world. It’s just lipstick.” Well, Butler got the last laugh. After that episode, Butler was even more determined to get her small company out there. Now, the Lip Bar’s products are on the shelves of more than 142 Target locations.

 

4. GRL TRBL

                I’m the Perfect Shade pin, $10

GRL TRBL (pronounced “Girl Trouble”) was founded by Emerald Pellett in Harlem, NY in direct response to the Trump administration. GRL TRBL believes change can only happen when women build coalitions to dismantle systematic oppression. Pellett believes that the girls of the world have always been trouble to institutionalized systems of oppression by the very nature of girls’ existence. Pellett has a variety of pins, prints and totes up for grabs on her website. Her pins have been featured on popular websites like the Washington Post and Buzzfeed.

 

5. Suite Four Wines

            2016 Suite Four Sparkling Wine, $19.99

Founder Cyrina Yarbrough was sick of the stale and pretentious rules around enjoying wine. She thought that everyone should be able to drink a glass, bottle, or cup of wine whether it be at a ballet or at a hookah lounge. Forget the rules around fancy drinks ― serve up a beverage that any 20 & 30-something millennial can enjoy. Suite Four was built on the philosophy that social lives don’t have to be one-dimensional. As the Suite Four website eloquently says, “Millennials can be gainfully employed, well educated and listen to trap music in a crowded restaurant, during brunch where glasses overflow with bubbles.” We can toast to that!

Make sure to check out all the local events going on around campus this month in addition to supporting all these really amazing businesses owned by black women! This month (and every month) we should find it in ourselves to support black women and their dreams in whatever capacity we can. Black history is U.S. history and we cannot forget that. The tireless work and advocacy for human rights of black people within the United States does not start and end in February ― it is a continuous fight for equity that we cannot ignore. February is a time to highlight black accomplishments and give back to the people who have been the catalysts for change and paved the way to a brighter future for everyone in the U.S. We would not even be where we are now in terms of rights in the United States without black people. Take the time to attend and appreciate an open event put on by a black student org, and buy something if you have the means. Stay radical, kids.